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News & Press: Member Insights

Letter from the Chair

Friday, July 7, 2017  

As we head into Summer Symposium this week in Detroit, my final Symposium as chair, I want to thank all of you for your enthusiastic involvement in The Giving Institute, in making Summer Symposium programming the best we’ve seen yet, and in promoting our Foundation’s flagship product, Giving USA 2017. I so look forward to gathering with my friends and colleagues for three days of enriching education and events as we celebrate our successes and generate the ideas that will keep the Institute at the forefront of the philanthropic sector.

We’re reaching beyond our own audience again with a live webcast open to all entitled, “Tax Policy and other Changes in the Political Wind” on July 14, of which I will be a panelist. This topic is especially important to me as making sure our government representatives understand the impact nonprofits have on people and communities is crucial. And our philanthropic sector should always be in tune with how government – at every level – might affect it.

It also reminds me how vigilant we need to be about making sure our voices are heard. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French historian and political writer, is credited with saying “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” I often say, “You’re either at the table or on the menu.” Not as eloquent, perhaps, but it makes the point nonetheless.

Please share this webcast far and wide with colleagues and clients.

Finally, I’d like to thank our Summer Symposium committee members, led by our dedicated chairs, Cedric Richner and Laura MacDonald. They have done an exceptional job in planning our event, bringing us a fantastic program line-up and exclusive tours and events, sure to give us a much deeper understanding of the role of philanthropy in the revitalization of one of America’s great cities.

Let’s do our best to Re-Imagine Philanthropy this week in Detroit. See you there!

Jeffrey Byrne, President and CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. 

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